Five members of Surrey City Orchestra’s brass section – Mark D’Angelo (trumpet), Nick Robson (trumpet), Richard Mingus (French horn), Gregory Farrugia (trombone) and Andrew Poirier (bass trombone) – recorded their Digital Stage performance at the Sheraton hotel in Guildford. (Submitted photo)


‘What A Blast!’ brass concert, Tom Jackson’s ‘Huron Carole’ on Surrey’s Digital Stage

Fall events offer a chance to ‘virtually connect, engage and find inspiration’

Surrey’s series of Digital Stage events continues Friday, Oct. 16, with an evening performance by members of Surrey City Orchestra.

The “What a Blast!” concert is a free, hour-long event that gets going at 7 p.m.

The orchestra’s brass section “will delight audiences with a variety of styles of music, all washed down with a selection of amusing stories and anecdotes,” according to an event advisory at

Digital Stage events, presented by Surrey Civic Theatres, offer some online entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically at this time of year, such concerts are held at Surrey Arts Centre and city hall’s Centre Stage theatre.

“In recent months Surrey Civic Theatres has curated Digital Stage events that feature a broad array of virtual performing arts experiences for community viewers, and provided opportunities for artists to continue to maintain their livelihoods through challenging times,” said Kent Gallie, the city’s performing arts manager.

“While gatherings in person are limited these days, we are pleased to provide outstanding performing arts programs that give our community the chance to virtually connect, engage and find inspiration. Enjoy!”

All events in the fall series are posted to They can be viewed on Surrey Civic Theatres’ Facebook page and the City of Surrey YouTube channel.

The Surrey City Orchestra performance can be viewed online until Nov. 27.

Following several concerts at various venues in recent years, 2019 was the inaugural season for the orchestra, whose music director and conductor is Stuart Martin, a Semiahmoo Secondary grad.

For Digital Stage, five members of the orchestra’s brass section – Mark D’Angelo (trumpet), Nick Robson (trumpet), Richard Mingus (French horn), Gregory Farrugia (trombone) and Andrew Poirier (bass trombone) – recorded their performance at the Sheraton hotel in Guildford. The music includes “The Barber of Seville”, “The Pink Panther” theme, “El Gato Montés”, the “Hockey Night in Canada Theme”, “St. Paul Suite”, and “Ave Maria”.

“It was wonderful to have a chance to make real music again, with real people, in real time, in the same place,” Mingus said.

• RELATED STORY, from 2019: Surrey City Orchestra looks for donors ahead of concert.

Looking ahead, the fall Digital Stage series features The Flame: Scary Stories Edition, on Oct. 30. Says an event advisory: “This Halloween, tune in for a night of scary stories from a variety of accomplished, local storytellers, hosted by award-winning actor and one of the creators of the Mom’s the Word series, Deborah Williams.”

Later, on Nov. 12, a Bach on the Bench concert will feature the Bergmann Duo performing a set of Beethoven variations, as well as pieces by Bach and some Spanish/Latin music.

(Story continues below video)

On Dec. 11, all-ages tickets are $15 to see Tom Jackson’s The Huron Carole on the Digital Stage platform, or $25 for the show and a “VIP Zoom Reception” prior to the performance.

Famous for storytelling, Jackson and fellow musicians will perform Christmas favourites under the bright lights of a professional stage. “For the audiophile and videophile enthusiast, show quality is exceptional,” promises a show description linked to

More event details can be found at, including how the national Christmas tour helps raise funds and awareness for Canada’s hungry.

The Surrey-specific event is pitched as a “family night” opportunity, or date night.

Says Jackson: “This Christmas season is going to be different from any other, and it’s going to require us — as individuals and as a society — to look even more inside ourselves for a light of optimism, a silver lining. We must treasure that light and hang onto that silver lining with all our might.”

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